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Community Highlights: Meet Melanie Flowers-Tate of Tate’s Box

Today we’d like to introduce you to Melanie Flowers-Tate.

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
As the parents to four Student-Athletes, The Pandemic hit our family hard. Everything that was familiar to my husband and our kids was crumbling before our very eyes. It was hard to reassure them when he and I both were unsure what the future looked like for High School, and College Student Athletes. Determined to not be consumed with doubts, I had to dig deep in order to redirect our energy towards something positive.

When times get hard, I reflect on things my Mother would say to me when she was alive. (When you lose someone, you lose their perspective). In her eyes, I was a determined woman capable of accomplishing anything. I read through a box of old greeting cards from her that I kept over the years. Some had glitter and cursive writing, some in pastels or watercolors and gold font, a few funny ones too – it hit me! Everyone buys greeting cards for special occasions to celebrate the milestones of their family and friends. Why not take those heartfelt messages and positive affirmations and put them on Basketballs and Footballs?

I explained the idea to my family and encouraged the kids to get involved with the process. In doing so, they realized three important things: 1) Love is a universal language, 2) Life exist beyond the field and the court. 3) Your words will outlive you.

As parents we know the challenges Student- Athletes are facing, and not only did we meet the needs of our own children, but we as a family have opened up “The Box” and are doing the same for other families of athletes as well.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
With more than 20 years combined in Hospitality, Cosmetology, and Human Resources, I value the power of connecting with people and making positive changes in their lives. Covid made that challenging. I don’t have a background in Sales, or Marketing so I had to rely on the internet. I spent hours researching before taking the leap. I left no stone unturned. I could not afford to let my kids down.

Even though I knew we had a special product, getting it in front of the right people was not as easy as I hoped. Fortunately, a few months after launching we caught the eye of former NBA Los Angeles Laker / All Star Slam Dunk Champion, Cedric Ceballos. He ordered balls for his Son and Daughter and followed up with a video for us to share as we pleased. That was a big break for us in terms of credibility and sales. A few months later, Basketball player/legendary rapper – turned Business Mogul, Master P featured our “To My Son, Love Dad” Engraved Basketball on his YouTube Show “Master P Reviews.” Since then, the support has been amazing.

We’ve been impressed with Tate’s Box, but for folks who might not be as familiar, what can you share with them about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
We specialize in creating customized Basketballs and Footballs engraved with sentimental messages from Parents, Grandparents, and Significant Others to the athletes they love.

The Tate’s Box experience is nothing like you have ever seen when it comes to gift-giving.

From Pee Wee to Professional Athlete, we have created some of the most heartfelt gifts you can imagine. Customers rave about our MVP Signature Shoelace Gift Wrap and complementary embossed tissue. These gifts come straight from the heart, and we know there will be tears. We just want our customers to be prepared.

Our newest release, “To My Love” Basketball is HOT! There are so many basketball couples out there, and a love letter engraved on a basketball makes a perfect gift for not only Birthdays, but Mother’s Day and Father’s Day as well! Wedding Season is upon us, and many people are celebrating these milestones with a love letter engraved on a Basketball!

What does success mean to you?
Our definition of success changes daily. We are constantly moving the bar.

Today, success means giving a customer a heads up that her Overnight Express Shipping request might not actually arrive the next day. Making it to the UPS shipping facility in another city 10 minutes before closing so her Basketball arrives in time for her husband’s birthday – then having her ask if she can use her experience with Tate’s Box as part of her Customer Service trainings for the businesses she runs.

Yesterday, success was sitting down as a family to watch an unboxing video that a parent shared with us of her little girl squealing with excitement after seeing her name on a custom basketball.

Tomorow, success will have a new meaning.

We are on a mission to become the first choice of families looking for a sentimental sporty gift. Success is being able to accomplish that mission.

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